Recently, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau unveiled a tourism campaign that highlights how one of the nation’s oldest cities now encompasses 23 neighborhoods and residents who speak a combined 76 languages. The campaign included a new tagline: “Boston never gets old.”The bureau also introduced its new name: Meet Boston.

"This is a partnership between the city of Boston and an agency like Meet Boston to not only change the perception and the narrative, but to make sure on the city level that it's true when people get here that we really are not who we were decades ago," Segun Idowu, the city's chief of economic opportunity and inclusion, said on Basic Black.

People have long called Boston one of the most racist cities in the country, and data — from median net worth disparities to low Black enrollment at the region's top universities — support those claims. It didn't help that the city's prior tourism efforts largely overlooked communities of color.

"This is the reputation [of being a racist city] that Boston's has had for decades and decades. It's been very persistent, and it's pretty well-earned," said Adrian Walker, associate editor and columnist with The Boston Globe. "It's high time the city tried to do more to counteract it."

Hilina Ajakaiye, executive vice president of Meet Boston, said part of the new tourism efforts will include not only directing visitors toward the classics, such as sports games, but also out toward attractions in Boston's diverse neighborhoods.

"I think that there's a call to action to really be intentional about storytelling, shifting the narrative and also not dismissing the realities of what it is today," Ajakaiye said.

This is not the first time the city has tried to update its reputation. After a racist incident at Fenway Park in 2017, the city put together several initiatives — including “All Inclusive Boston” — to counter residents' and visitors’ perceptions of the city.

Walker said the campaign is a step in the right direction, but added he's seen efforts for "a new Boston" many times before.

"One of the things we're always fighting here in Boston is kind of the segregation in Boston, you walk in parts of Boston and feel like it's not very diverse. So, I like the fact that this ad really captures the full flavor of Boston," Walker said.

Officials and community members also hope the campaign sparks opportunities for Black businesses.

Idowu said part of the ongoing campaign to make Boston more welcoming will center on things like nightlife, transportation and affordability. He added that a new "late night czar" will focus on evening activities, and more businesses owned by people of color will appear in the Seaport come summertime.

"It's not just about how we are promoting ourselves through this campaign, which is important," Idowu said. "But again, it's about what's true on the ground."

Watch: Can Boston change its reputation as one of the most racist cities in America?

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